For the past two weeks, Gustavus has been hosting a Starcraft II tournament. Starcraft is a real-time computer strategy game in which two opponents compete against each other. “A typical game of Starcraft consists of two opposing sides which battle to destroy each other,” Junior Computer Science Major and Public Relations Coordinator for the tournament. Cory Ruegg said. “It is a war game in which the winner is decided upon through the destruction or admitting defeat of an opponent. Sometimes the player will just leave [the server]. They tend to know when they’ve been beaten,” Ruegg said.
Audiences have just as good a time as the competitors. Gathered in one room to watch the live-action game, the spectators trade jokes, cheer on the competitors, just as spectators do at a sporting event. “It’s interesting to watch. There’s a lot of strategy, and it’s fun to do as well,” Junior Computer Science Major and spectator of the tournament Ben Bickel said.
But Starcraft can serve as much more than a simple online game. “We want to generate interest in video games that are not just mindless fun. Starcraft, as a strategy game, introduces a concept of resource collection and management along with military tactics. University of Florida uses Starcraft I to teach one of their business classes. After the tournament is over, I hope students learn that video games are not just for fun but can be educational as well, just like chess games,” Professor Choong-Soo Lee said.
The tournament started on Jan. 6 and will continue to Jan. 26. “The tournament has been going well so far. We’ve had some experienced and some inexperienced players,” Ruegg said. “We expect to have more interesting games as we go along.” Anyone who wishes to view the tournament can do so Jan. 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, and 26 at 7:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, room 319.